Blog Post - October 9th
S. John Leonardi| S. Denis and Companions| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. John Leonardi
"I am only one person! Why should I do anything? What good would it do?" Today, as in any age, people seem plagued with the dilemma of getting involved. In his own way John Leonardi answered these questions. He chose to become a priest.
After his ordination, he became very active in the works of the ministry, especially in hospitals and prisons. The example and dedication of his work attracted several young laymen who began to assist him. They later became priests themselves.
John lived after the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent (1545-63). He and his followers projected a new congregation of diocesan priests. For some reason the plan, which was ultimately approved, provoked great political opposition. John was exiled from his home town of Lucca, Italy, for almost the entire remainder of his life. He received encouragement and help from St. Philip Neri [whose feast is May 26], who gave him his lodgings—along with the care of his cat!
In 1579, John formed the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and published a compendium of Christian doctrine that remained in use until the 19th century.
Father Leonardi and his priests became a great power for good in Italy, and their congregation was confirmed by Pope Clement in 1595.
He died at the age of 68 from a disease caught when tending those stricken by the plague.
By the deliberate policy of the founder, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God have never had more than 15 churches and today form only a very small congregation.
What can one person do? If you ever glanced through a Christopher Notespamphlet you know—plenty! In the life of each saint one thing stands clear: God and one person are a majority! What one individual, following God's will and plan for his or her life, can do is more than our mind could ever hope for or imagine. Each of us, like John Leonardi, has a mission to fulfill in God's plan for the world. Each one of us is unique and has been given talent to use for the service of our brothers and sisters for the building up of God's kingdom.
"Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy" (Luke 12:32-33).
Also today in Both Calendars there is commemorated S. Denis, Bishop and Martyr and SS. Rusticus and Eleutherius, Companions of S. Denis and Martyrs. A story about this commemoration can be found by Clicking Here.
ST. DIONYSIUS (DENIS), BISHOP OF PARIS, AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS.
OF all the Roman missionaries sent into Gaul, St. Dionysius carried the faith the furthest into the country, fixing his see at Paris, and by him and his disciples the sees of Chartres, Senlis, and Meaux were erected,¹ and, shortly after, those of Cologne and others, which we find in a flourishing condition and governed by excellent pastors in the fourth century, witness St. Maternus of Cologne, &c. SS. Fustian and Victoricus, Crispin and Crispinian, Rufiuus and Valerius, Lucian of Beauvais, Quintin, Piaton, Regulus or Riticius of Senlis, and. Marcellus are called disciples or fellow-labourers of St. Dio. nysius, and came from Rome to preach the name of Christ in Gaul. We are assured in the acts of the martyrdom of St. Dionysius that this zealous bishop built a church at Paris, and converted. great numbers to the faith. A glorious martyrdom crowned his labours for the salvation of souls, and the exaltation of the name of Christ.
He seems to have suffered in the persecution of Valerian in 272, though some moderns defer his death to the beginning of the reign of Maxirnian Hereuleus, who resided chiefly in Gaul from the year 286 to 292. Ado calls the judge by whom he was condemned, Fescenius. The Acts of his Martyrdom, St. Gregory of Tours, Fortunatus, and the western Martyrologists inform us, that after a long and cruel imprisonment he was beheaded for the faith, together. with Rusticus, a priest; and Eleutherius, a deacon. The Acts add, that the bodies of the martyrs were thrown into the river Seine, but taken up and honourably interred by a Christian lady, named Catalla, not far from the place where they had been beheaded. The Christians soon after built a chapel over their tomb. In 469, through the pious exhortations of St. Genevieve, a church, was raised upon the ruins of this chapel, which was a place of great devotion, much resorted to by pilgrims, as appears from the works of St. Gregory of Tours, in many places, by which it is clear that this church stood without the walls of the city, though very near them. By a donation of Clotaire II., it appears that here was then a religious community governed by an abbot. Degobert, who died in 638, founded ,the great abbey in this place in which he was interred, and which has been, for many ages the usual burial-place of the French kings. Pepin and his son, Charlemagne were principal benefactors to this monastery, which was magnificently rebuilt by abbot Suger. The relics of SS. Dionysius, Rusticus, and Eleutherius are kept here in three silver shrines. The miraculous cure of Pope Stephen II. in this church has been already related. St. Dionysius of France is commonly called St. Denis, from the French Denys. A portion of his relics is said to be possessed by the abbey of St. Emmeran, at Ratisbon.
Those apostolic pastors who converted so many nations to Christ were men filled with his Spirit, who regarded nothing but his glory, and acted and lived for him alone. Christ on earth never entertained any regard but for the glory of his Father, to whom he offered himself and his kingdom. Whoever becomes his minister, must, in like manner, have no aim, no intention but to advance the divine honour: for this he must be dead to the world, and have bid adieu to it, that is, to all desires of honours, applause, pleasures, riches, or any earthly goods whatever. Such a one sees nothing this world which he hopes or desires; nothing that he much fears; he seeks no composition with it while he is engaged in the cause of his master; no threats or apprehensions of terror from its persecution can damp his courage in defending the honour of God, or cool his zeal for the salvation of souls.
Follower of Christ:
You can be a part of the most amazing spiritual community ever, but that does not mean you are a follower of Jesus Christ. We need to pray as a community, but we also need to learn how to pray individually.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
True humility of heart is felt and lived, more than it can be demonstrated.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 282: Suffering, Persecution, Abuse & Disgrace
This heading may not seem immediately attractive to you. Who would want to endure these things? But we ought to remember that Jesus endured them all to the greatest degree. Was Jesus happy? Was His soul at peace? Most certainly. This reveals to us that these crosses in life cannot ultimately do us harm if we are immersed in the presence of God. Remember Jesus agonizing in the Garden, or the mockery He endured, or the rejection that many directed at Him, yet in all of this He remained in a peaceful repose. Nothing in this world can steal us away from a profound peace if we remain immersed in the presence of God. All the suffering, persecution, abuse and disgrace in the world cannot ultimately have victory over a soul given to God (See Diary #1394).
Reflect upon that which has the effect of stealing your peace away. If you were perfect, this would not happen. That may be hard to accept but it’s true. We easily point to this or that as the source of our unrest when the source is always within. It’s either a sin we have clung to, such as anger, or a sin of omission, such as a lack of trust. Whatever your experience is, do not get caught up on your sin. Simply turn your eyes to our merciful Lord and know that He can keep you in His peace through anything if you let Him.
Lord, I invite You to take control of all my inner thoughts, feelings and emotions. Bring stillness and peace to my heart as I continue through this life filled with struggle. When I experience the harshness of others, help me to use that as an opportunity for greater trust in Your Mercy. I know that in all things I can remain wrapped in Your arms of grace. I give myself to You, dear Lord, please protect me and keep me close to Your Heart. Jesus, I trust in You.